Baobabs’ avenue is a place in Madagascar that almost no tourist can resist. Anyone visiting the country will stop seeing this natural treasure no matter what the previous plan was.
If you don’t know why this avenue is the number one attraction in Madagascar, take a look at some of the pictures, and we guarantee you’ll recognize the scene and maybe keep reading so we can tell you everything there is to know about it.
Why Are Baobabs so Special?
If you haven’t seen the Grandidier’s baobabs up close, trying to explain why they are so unique is not going to be an easy task. By reading the tourists’ reviews, you will realize that this attraction is not one you can skip, and here are some of the reasons:
Their Elegance Is Incomparable
The baobabs effortlessly enhance and beautify this dirt road. It’s almost impossible to believe that these trees are solely responsible for the astonishing and glorious views. And it’s true! Just take a look at the pictures and imagine the idea without the baobabs. You have to admit that it takes something incredibly superb to make this familiar dirt road the most beautiful Madagascar scene.
Among the Oldest Trees on Earth
It’s worth mentioning that some of the region’s baobabs are around 800 years old. That being said, you might also want to know that the current baobabs in this region are the only remains of the wooded and lush forest there once was.
Over the years, the growth of population in the region led to increased agriculture activities. Since there were no organizations to help preserve the forest, then deforestation began, and all that is left from that once magnificent dense forest is less than 60 trees.
The Country’s First Natural Monument
While this Alley was being visited by many tourists and was known worldwide, it still wasn’t getting the attention and care it needed for protection until 2007, when it was named Madagascar’s first natural monument. This area is now under the protection of a few private and international organizations, but they have done not much, and the baobabs are still considered an endangered species.
What to Do There
Despite this area’s incredible potential and popularity among tourists, not many investments have been made in it. As a result, there are not many facilities available near the avenue of Baobabs. But that doesn’t take anything away from experience.
Either you’re a blogger looking forward to taking a ton of pictures or a nature admirer wanting to get lost in its raw beauty, this place won’t disappoint you. Here are a few things you shouldn’t miss out on:
Most Scenic View Ever
Taking stunning pictures of/in the Baobab alley is the reason why most -if not all- tourists want to visit here. The view is so unbelievably gorgeous that everyone finds themselves desperately trying to capture the essence of beauty here. Although no picture can truly represent the sheer glory that can be felt when standing amongst the baobabs, you wouldn’t be able to resist even if you’re not a big photography fan.
Buy Some Souvenirs
Besides the pictures you took, you can also buy some handicrafts made by the local people to remember this place. The handicrafts are mainly made of the baobabs woods, and if you walk to the end of the road, you will find ones with better prices too. Since this site has no entrance fee, the locals don’t make any money off tourism. So by buying a souvenir, you’re also helping out their local economy.
Let the Magic Sink In
If you’re done taking pictures or just not in the mood for it, we still recommend taking a walk down this magical Alley. Not only will the unique vibe inspire you on your walk, but at the end of the road, there’s a small bar that you can kick back in and relax. It’s the closest place to Baobabs avenue, where you can get a drink and still enjoy the view.
Try Its Fruit
Baobab, or as the locals call it “Renala,” meaning “Mother of the Forest,” has more to offer than just the fantastic view. These giant trees, often around 30 M long, are used by the locals for their fruits and leaves. Baobab’s fruit is a coconut size and has an exotic taste, which most people like. Some of them taste sweeter, and some a bit sour. You can find drinks made with this fruit at the bar on the road. Locals also use the leaves of baobabs in salads, and they’re said to be very nutritious.
Check Out the Amoureux Trees
The two baobabs twist together, look as if they’re hugging. That’s why they’re known as the Amoureux baobabs or the Baobabs of Love. This couple of trees are probably the most famous baobabs in the region. These trees are about 7km away from the original avenue of baobabs, but you should definitely check them out if you have the time.
When to Go
Every attraction in the world has a recommended time to visit. It could be to avoid the crowd or catch a glimpse of it at a specific time, with a certain kind of lighting. The Avenue of Baobabs is no exception! While visiting this area has its own perks and advantages at any time of the day, you might want to know about them before planning to go. Therefore, we will provide you with some information about the best time to visit the Avenue of Baobabs.
Baobabs Avenue is the area’s most visited time of the day, and of course, the most beautiful time to see it too. Almost every tourist comes here with a tour bus or a taxi at dusk and sets up their cameras ready to take as many shots as possible.
At this time of the day, the crowd in the baobabs alley is unavoidable. The best you can do is to get there a bit earlier so you can choose a spot where you can spend the following hour or so at. You can also stay a little longer until the sun is completely down and wait as the tour busses take tourists back to the city. The night sky and the site’s silence are mesmerizing at that time.
The sunrise, much like the sunset, is one of the best times you can choose to go to this site, especially if you’re an early bird and don’t want all your pictures and memories of this place to be filled with strangers in it. Of course, there would still be a few people in the avenue, but it’s nothing to worry about compared to the dusk. You can watch the alley shine in the early morning light and have it be a bit quieter too.
Even though the lighting at dusk and dawn are unbeatable, the baobabs are still capable of making any picture 10 times more astonishing by being in it, no matter the lighting. It’s also the quietest and uncrowded time for visiting here. You will Mostly meet locals on the road.
The Average Monthly Temperature
Morondava is an area close to the avenue of Baobab. Here you can see the table of the average monthly temperature of Morondava, which is the same as Baobabs’.
Getting There, Getting Around
Since there’s really no accommodation or facility site near this attraction, the only way you can get there is from one of the nearest cities like Morondova or Belon’i Tsiribihina. Many people also try to catch this site on their way to Tsingy National Park or Kirindy reserve since they’re on the same route.
Depending on how long you want to stay there, how much money you want to spend, or the kind of experience and trip you have in mind, you can choose your preferred type of transportation from one of the options below:
Renting a Car
This option gives you the freedom to drive to any possible location near the site at any time. It’s pricier than the other choices, but if you have a guide or are familiar with the area yourself and can handle driving around on your own, we recommend getting a private vehicle.
Make sure you get a car suitable for driving on the bumpy and uneven dirt road leading to the baobab alley. It costs about $60 per day to rent a car in good condition.
Getting a Taxi
Taxi is considered the most comfortable option for people visiting here for the first time and want to experience the area without a tour. The taxis take you to the avenue (any additional stops will cost more) and waits for you( for as long as you’ve agreed on), and then takes you back. The trip to the site and back costs about $14.
- You have to pay an extra $1 as your parking fee if you choose to go by taxi or your car.
Taking a Tour Bus
Most tourists choose to visit the avenue by tour buses. There are several types of buses and different tours that will lead you to this attraction. You should check out the options available to see which one fits your schedule.
The cost of taking a bus tour varies depending on the type of bus and tour you choose, but it’s around $4-$10 for a straight trip from one of the nearest cities to the site.
Final Thoughts and Tips
- There are eight species of these spectacular trees globally, six of which only grow in Madagascar and are considered native malady trees.
- These baobabs have suffered through a lot of climate change and survived near extinction. So try to understand their value and respect them and their habitat.
- Based on the crime rates and past travelers’ reviews, this area is one of the island’s safest places.
We hope this travel guide helped you get to know this unique attraction a little better and appreciate its significance a little deeper.